French police cut soles off migrant children’s shoes

And some would say
the illegality would be to the property,
the abused ownership of the shoes,
not the feet, blistered by hope,
the minds, yearning; the law’s barriers
are clear, clear as any fence.
Dubbed illegal, shoes truncated,
the children are sent back on trains.
Sole-less shoes are the new sans culottes,
as the French police cut the fashion.
And we, smug, tut-tut, and lock
the lame and the pregnant off-shore.
We cut the map, turn the sea into walls.
We are surgeons of souls, and watch,
as young men take the final step
and launch themselves, shoeless,
into another world, with hidden knife,
or rope, knot, and quick-flipped chair.

PS Cottier

The poem’s title derives from a headline in The Guardian, 15-6-18, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/14/french-border-police-accused-of-cutting-soles-off-migrant-childrens-shoes

shoes

Normally I’d be posting a football poem at the moment, however this piece in The Guardian engendered a poem admittedly about feet, but most definitely not about the beautiful game.

On the shocking spread of unregulated materials

Gnomes
Despise
Picnic
Rugs

PS Cottier

many-gnomes

Pun based acrostics have their place at my place. Particularly when one has been tormented by numerous emails about one’s privacy for weeks. If you’ve never heard of the GDPR, you have my felicitations. Which is not to say that it’s not A Good Thing, but let there be an end to the emails, please. And this is from someone living in Australia; I dread to think what it’s been like in Europe (which includes the UK, at least for now).

Budgerigar

Ten million green commas punctuate blue sky,
quick breaths of swooping wonder, multiplied.
Water-hole is your target; liquid rope pulls you down
and the whole emerald sky is falling, diving,
as miniature bodies scoop into pool.
Your individual markings have taken you
further than native flight; outside the Louvre
I saw you, cold, trying to break in, as pointillist
as Pissarro but acrylic in your finish.
A proud but damp escapee from French balcony,
regretting the lost seed and the found liberty.
So plump and fresh, I have heard you were good eating,
a winging fast food charred to a turn;
as far from stringy battery chook as fingers in the fire.
Most know you singly; whistling in cages,
bowing and bobbing, rattling plastic mirrors.
Driven mad you ring and ring chink-chinky bells
or make love to that hard, hard-to-get reflection.
What joy to see you
just once, as you swoop,
one stitch amongst the tapestry,
a blade of grass in feathered turf carpet, magically landing,
transforming dreary waterside with that fallen sward of Eire.
Swift dragon of twenty million wings,
fluorescing with your simple, beak-filled joys.

P.S.Cottier

artist at work

After boasting in various places that I post a new poem every week, here’s a repeat one for you! (Which is a damn subtle humblebrag…) That’s Chomp in the picture above, and I have to be careful, or I’ll join the endless stream of people blogging about pets.

Jazz

Sax snaking
between notes,
tonguing air for directions,
poisonously honeyed
ears overflowing
quick thickening

and her voice,
both glacier and moraine
digging cool deep
graves of swoon,
lowering us in,
willingly, longingly
noise-swaddled

now punctuated by
exhortations of snare,
the metal finesse
of the cymbal
so jaggedly round
sweet clanging infraction

their fingers, her larynx
lynx swift yet subtle,
pouncing syncopation
delivers gasp-slaps
on listeners’ lobes —
we clap pauseless poise

PS Cottier

Szaxofoncsalad_001

It’s so very hard to write about music, but I continue to try!

In other news, my poem ‘Lycium Barbarum’ which first appeared in the journal Umbel & Panicle is now published in the Rhysling anthology, which contains poems nominated for the Rhysling Award, a yearly award for poems of a speculative nature. The awards are organised by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, based in the US. Speculative poetry includes science fiction, horror (mine is a humorous horror poem featuring werewolves), fantasy and sundry weirdnesses. Lovely to see it there.

(Image By User:Villanueva at hu.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

This one is via link to Not Very Quiet, an online journal of women’s poetry. This edition, the second, was guest edited by Anita Patel, and the launch was held last night at Smiths Alternative here in Canberra. Many of the included poets were there to read their poems, along with the founding editors, Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, and production editor Tikka Wilson.

Here is Anita Patel launching this issue, which is well worth a look.

Anita edit